Tag Archives: culture

Varṇāśrama Interview with HH Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja

[The following interview about varāśrama was conducted on 30 May 2017 by Nagarī Mātājī (BVKS) for the Russian website of HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami’s disciples.]

(This Interview was transcribed and kindly supplied to our website by Sulālitā dd (BBGS), edited by Balaram Briant from Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur)

Varṇāśrama stereotypes

Nagarī Mātājī: What is the essence, or the foundation, of varāśrama? Many devotees confuse it with the caste system.

HH Bhaktividyā Pūra Mahārāja: Caste system, I see. If you listen to modern academics, if you listen to modern socially oriented people, they will try to make it into a caste system. Because the purpose is if make it look bad you don’t have to follow it. Continue reading Varṇāśrama Interview with HH Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja

SB 5.18 The Prayers Offered to the Lord by the Residents of Jambūdvīpa

CHAPTER 18 started 14th Apr 2016 Lecture 1 starting at about 00:41:48
  • Understanding of the Lord only comes when He reveals Himself. Any level of understanding of the Lord is because He has revealed it.
  • God is a person, He already has what He likes to do.
  • Rhetorical questions are only poetic means to make a point.

Continue reading SB 5.18 The Prayers Offered to the Lord by the Residents of Jambūdvīpa

“It’s taken that, oh, we are down on women, but no, it’s actually the opposite. It’s that because of the value they have to be dealt with in a different way. But unscrupulous men who don’t understand the culture, but they’ve been raised by women who don’t understand the culture either, who are so-called taken care of, but not really taken care of by men who don’t know what’s going on, and so in this way the line is generated, then no one knows what to do, so they take advantage.”

– 11th Jun 2015, SB Darshan-Caksus Course, Mayapur

Brihad Manu Siksha #11 Lecture Notes

http://seminary.bhaktivedantaacademy.com/content/uploads/sc/year2/ms102/2012-03-29-Brihad-Manu-Siksa-2.208-217.mp3

Full lecture transcription [link not active yet]

  • Honoring the wife and son of the teacher.
  • Senior students in the Gurukula should also be honored.
  • Teachers who teach great number of students, teach 10 of them, and they teach younger students.
  • It is generally not recommended to take more than 12 students.
  • Assisting in bath, taking remnants etc are not done for the teacher’s wife and son.
  • After 20 years of age (at the age where one is aware and male and female interaction) one should not touch the feet of Guru’s wife.
  • Materially elevated people may be more refined and sense-controlled, but only devotee can be free from material desires.
  • One should not stay in a lonely place even with one’s mother, sister or daughter.
  • Manu gives standard human culture.
  • If Guru’s wife is elderly, the student may render services to her just like a son, but if she is younger, he should not do so.
  • In the Vedic system there are the most restrictions on grihasthas, since they have the idea that women are enjoyable. There are not so many rules for other orders.
  • Elements of celibacy are explained in most detail in the description of brahmachari ashrama.
  • Only in more developed cultures social interaction does not have to be flirting.
  • In Vedic culture woman is seen as mother, with respect. As one has relationship with one’s mother, one has that relationship with all women. But when women are seen as sex symbols, it actually reduces interaction and relationships.
  • A list of laws deal with every aspect, not leaving anything uncovered. We may never come across all those situations, but kings do.
  • Manu is the complete social science mechanics.
  • If we understand the principles, it is not difficult to follow many rules. Just like there are innumerable recipes, but one who knows the principle of cooking can see what’s available and put things together.
  • Grihastha ashrama is founded on brahmachari ashrama, where respect is a very essential quality.
  • Many times people have problems in relationships because they don’t catch the principle of respect.
  • It is always emphasized that wife follows the husband, but even man also follows his Guru. He followed Guru as a brahmachari, and continues to follow as a grihastha.
  • In varna one might be a big person, but in ashrama one is always submissive.
  • Culture is everything about our life what we do and how we use things in Krishna consciousness.
  • Everything in the creation is feminine, and one is trying to enjoy everything. Therefore rules for dealing with women pertain to all living entities who have taken a masculine mood and looking at the world for their enjoyment.
  • Whatever one wants to enjoy, one actually has to act like a servant and follow the proper rules to make things work.
  • We can assist the material energy to make things happen.
  • Masculine idea is to do something to get a result; feminine nature is to be involved in something to get an experience.
  • The Lord does not have a problem that we see His energy and we want to do something with it, the problem is that we are leaving Him out of it.

Brihad Manu Siksha #11 Lecture Notes

http://seminary.bhaktivedantaacademy.com/content/uploads/sc/year2/ms102/2012-03-29-Brihad-Manu-Siksa-2.208-217.mp3

Full lecture transcription [link not active yet]

  • Honoring the wife and son of the teacher.
  • Senior students in the Gurukula should also be honored.
  • Teachers who teach great number of students, teach 10 of them, and they teach younger students.
  • It is generally not recommended to take more than 12 students.
  • Assisting in bath, taking remnants etc are not done for the teacher’s wife and son.
  • After 20 years of age (at the age where one is aware and male and female interaction) one should not touch the feet of Guru’s wife.
  • Materially elevated people may be more refined and sense-controlled, but only devotee can be free from material desires.
  • One should not stay in a lonely place even with one’s mother, sister or daughter.
  • Manu gives standard human culture.
  • If Guru’s wife is elderly, the student may render services to her just like a son, but if she is younger, he should not do so.
  • In the Vedic system there are the most restrictions on grihasthas, since they have the idea that women are enjoyable. There are not so many rules for other orders.
  • Elements of celibacy are explained in most detail in the description of brahmachari ashrama.
  • Only in more developed cultures social interaction does not have to be flirting.
  • In Vedic culture woman is seen as mother, with respect. As one has relationship with one’s mother, one has that relationship with all women. But when women are seen as sex symbols, it actually reduces interaction and relationships.
  • A list of laws deal with every aspect, not leaving anything uncovered. We may never come across all those situations, but kings do.
  • Manu is the complete social science mechanics.
  • If we understand the principles, it is not difficult to follow many rules. Just like there are innumerable recipes, but one who knows the principle of cooking can see what’s available and put things together.
  • Grihastha ashrama is founded on brahmachari ashrama, where respect is a very essential quality.
  • Many times people have problems in relationships because they don’t catch the principle of respect.
  • It is always emphasized that wife follows the husband, but even man also follows his Guru. He followed Guru as a brahmachari, and continues to follow as a grihastha.
  • In varna one might be a big person, but in ashrama one is always submissive.
  • Culture is everything about our life what we do and how we use things in Krishna consciousness.
  • Everything in the creation is feminine, and one is trying to enjoy everything. Therefore rules for dealing with women pertain to all living entities who have taken a masculine mood and looking at the world for their enjoyment.
  • Whatever one wants to enjoy, one actually has to act like a servant and follow the proper rules to make things work.
  • We can assist the material energy to make things happen.
  • Masculine idea is to do something to get a result; feminine nature is to be involved in something to get an experience.
  • The Lord does not have a problem that we see His energy and we want to do something with it, the problem is that we are leaving Him out of it.

Brihad Manu Siksha #2 Lecture Notes

http://seminary.bhaktivedantaacademy.com/content/uploads/sc/year2/ms102/2012-03-13-Brihad-Manu-Siksa-1.51-59.mp3

Full lecture transcription [link not active yet]

  • When the Lord sleeps, all the living entities sleep also.
  • During the night of Lord Brahma there is dissolution up to Brahmaloka.
  • Brahma re-creates the whole universe every morning.
  • After the long sleep during the night of Lord Brahma living entities again obtain enthusiasm to be very active for the whole of Brahma’s day.
  • Puranas talk of primary creation (sarga), secondary creation (dissolution, re-creation) (visarga)
  • Brahma has created our bodies, but why they act the way they do is established by the Lord.
  • Is Brahma not bored to re-create every morning? It’s a routine activity for him, like brushing teeth for us. As creator he likes to create.
  • Lord Brahma spoke on the original creation and re-creation, where nobody else is involved in.
  • Now Bhrigu will speak.
  • In Kali yuga the most noble species are not manifest – like makaras, yalis, shyama eagles. Demigods do not come around.
  • If you really want to ‘slum it’, this is the age!
  • We are used that impiety disturbs people to be Krishna conscious. But there are people who are so pious that they cannot possibly take up devotional service. In the West main impediment is impiety. In India – piety.
  • Can we engage different culture in Krishna’s service? First of all we have to define what is culture.
  • Should one give up Chinese culture to go back to Godhead? If one identifies as Chinese, one cannot go back to Godhead. To go back to Godhead one has to give up karma and jnana.
  • We use those elements of foreign cultures that are useful in Krishna consciousness. We use what is available.
  • The actual “Middle Kingdom.”
  • The engagement of facility according to authority is standard.
  • Chinese would act more according to niti than to dharma.
  • The Vedic system in its original forms gives all facility needed.
  • Prabhupada mentioned that the fruits and flowers are only there because there are devotees.
  • Preaching to Chinese through Confucius scripture.
  • Chinese culture, as others, work on principle. We should understand those principles and work on them.
  • Nowadays Chinese are wearing all things from European fashion houses.
  • Vedanta is universal.
  • Vedic is the natural balanced form of culture, that’s why it seems so strange to everybody else, since they are not used to that balance.
  • Discussion in Manu Samhita is for brahmanas and kshatriyas.
  • Rules are there so that the principle that the rules are trying to express is obtained.
  • To differentiate between principle and detail is essential – then understanding other things becomes easy.

Bhagavad-Gita Thematic #17

This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 2 and consists of 101 lectures, available on:

http://seminary.bhaktivedantaacademy.com/classes/bhagavad-gita-thematic

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, November 2011-April 2012

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • We should not think that if someone above us fell down then what’s our chance. Everyone is different.
  • One’s level in devotional service is determined by one’s faith, not by whether one has accidentally fallen down or not.

Continue reading Bhagavad-Gita Thematic #17

Bhagavad-Gita Thematic #15

This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 2 and consists of 101 lectures, available on:

http://seminary.bhaktivedantaacademy.com/classes/bhagavad-gita-thematic

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, November 2011-April 2012

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • The religious life of the naradhamas is not based on actual religion, sanatana-dharma.
  • The mudha aspect is emphasis on working hard, even though the work may be very refined.

Continue reading Bhagavad-Gita Thematic #15

Bhagavad-Gita Seriatim #87

This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 1 and consists of 91 lectures, available on:

http://seminary.bhaktivedantaacademy.com/classes/bhagavad-gita-seriatim/

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, September 2010-April 2011

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • Ultimately the mechanics is only meant to prove to Krishna our sincerity, but it’s actually about the relationship between Krishna and the living entity.
  • In Krishna consciousness result depends on how we have pleased the Lord.

Continue reading Bhagavad-Gita Seriatim #87